Residential Builders Expect Big Things in 2013


As the nation’s economy sputters back to life, home builders across the country are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and are expecting to see solid gains in 2013.

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Half of the respondents to this year’s Professional Builder survey said they expect to see higher revenues this year compared to 2012, and nearly a quarter (22.6 percent) said they are forecasting annual revenue gains of 10 percent or more.

But builders fully admit that they are not out of the woods yet. Top challenges cited by survey respondents include the overall economy (60.1 percent said it was one of their top-three obstacles); project funding (35.5 percent); continued softness in home prices (31.9 percent); and getting customers qualified for a mortgage (29.0 percent).

When it comes to revenue growth, a sizable group of builders are expecting big things in 2013. Nearly a quarter (22.6 percent) of survey respondents said they expect to see their revenue grow by more than 10 percent next year, and 12.7 percent are forecast- ing growth between 7 and 10 percent.

Despite the optimism for 2013, less than a third of builders said they are planning to purchase land, and half said they are flat out not in the market for land.

Even with the mostly positive growth projections for 2013, many builders are gun shy about adding staff members. More than half of survey respondents said they do not plan to increase their head count this year, and nearly a quarter said they are unsure about adding staff.

Selling green/energy-efficient homes, offering remodeling services, and catering to higher-end clients are the top growth opportunities cited by builders.